Cosmetic Waste

I am not strictly a minimalist but I do not like wasting. I try to make the most of what I own by consciously differentiating between the thin line of need and want because I am a self confessed shopaholic. Hoarding products can become problematic in a range of ways. It can be addictive, waste of money and the clutters can cause distress. Also, old and expired cosmetics are not worth using because they may be harmful or ineffective. With the rise of online shops and easily accessible product knowledge, our generation is more likely to buy more cosmetics than our parents or grandparents. However, if you care about the environment, the abundance of plastic packaging is probably bothering you. Glass packaging does not seem to solve the problem either, as it is heavier to ship and so leads to more carbon footprint. Buying things we are not going to use is increasing the demand and supply of cosmetics that are not just affecting us, but the environment as well. Consider aquatic toxicity by certain ingredients, animal cruelty, sustainability and your personal finances. I cannot yet commit to buy only ethical products but I can at least try to reduce the amount.

Phew, that was a big rant! Now let’s look at ways of reducing waste:

  • Limit impulse buys: Some of us are more intrigued to buy something, when we are not feeling good. It is a way of trying to feel better with something rewarding and promising. This can be an issue if it is not addressed on time. We are also likely to make impulse buys while passing the beauty isles and clicking through our email subscriptions. I deal with my shopaholism by postponing and trying to work out how much I want a particular product and whether I am going to use it or just collect it. So, I make wish lists and come back later if my budget allows. You can make inventory, which is basically making a list of all the products you own and want to use up. This will help you make better choice before buying something new. You probably already know that you do not need fifty shades of matte red lipsticks unless you want to display them in your makeup exhibition or collect them as precious museum pieces.
  • Buy travel sizes and multipurpose products: Travel sizes or minis are cheaper and you are likely to finish them before they expire. Multipurpose products like “lip and cheek sticks”, and highlighters and bronzers that can be used as eyeshadows are quicker to use up than individual ones. They also make the makeup application process faster. Here is a quick tip -feel free to ask for samples when you are shopping in a departmental store if you are unsure whether the product is worth a splurge.
  • Cut tubes to get the last bit of product: If you have never done that, you will be amazed how much of your lotions and potions are left within the nooks and crannies of tubes. Cut one and thank me later.
  • Focus on quality over quantity- By this, I do not mean buy expensive sunscreen and apply inadequate amount! You need to apply sufficient amount of products. Hoarding them for long can lead to expiration. So you are better off buying one quality product that your budget allows than five products with the same amount of money that are going to go off. Less is more! If you have any unused products that you are never going to use, give them away to people who might enjoy them.

Let’s take a step back from the #shelfies trend and focus on the rise of #lowbuy, that I endorse and would appreciate if you join me. Let me know, your views in the comments and to stay connected, follow my blog, facebook, instagram, pinterest and twitter.


  1. This was a great read! I personally am really bad with impulse buys (oops!), & it’s something I really need to be more aware of! I’m getting better! Ha! I also love the cutting the tube idea; I tend to throw things out without doing so, so thank you for that tip! I will be trying it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I can so relate to this post. I used to be such a collector/hoarder. When I downsized last year, it was sad how much expired makeup I had to throw out that I hadn’t used in years. I now concentrate on the basics — and just one for most things.

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  3. I completely agree about making more conscious decisions when buying cosmetics. The packaging waste problem is worrying to me, and the amount of actual product we trash because it expired/didn’t like it/didn’t work just compounds the problem. I love your tip about cutting packaging to get more product…I thought I was the only one who did that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel glad now that there is not much cosmetic waste by my side! I hate over buying things and usually keep things under budget. Now that I read this I found a new perspective that my limited purchases also saves me from making unnecessary waste!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To cut down on makeup buying I try to only buy name brands at my local walmart and I only buy whats on clearance and only if I have a coupon or if I can get a discount with ibotta or coupons app. It really saves me money and it also helps keep was down by buying only the things I really like.

    Liked by 1 person

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